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Business Observer Friday, Sep. 24, 2004 18 years ago

Deciphering the Attribute Index

What is the key to successful business excellence? asks Stephen Garber, who lives and works in the Sarasota area, provides executive coaching for individuals and organizations to enable them to select, retain and develop performance champions.

Deciphering the Attribute Index

What is the key to successful business excellence?

As many of you know, I have written extensively about the workplace behaviors and attitudes (values) of executives and professionals. And so, it is with some pleasure I'd like to talk about a new instrument I have been working with. This tool is very useful in both selecting great employees and turning existing employees into performance champions.

First, let me apologize. Good newspaper articles require a compelling introduction to the story or subject. I'm breaking every rule in the book this month - because - the subject is important, compelling and will ultimately provide you with an excellent return on your investment of time, talent and resources. That said, please be prepared for an introduction that contains material that may be monotonous and extremely boring.

The key to successful individual business excellence lies in the combination of a person's behavior, values and capacities. Previously we have only been able to objectively measure a person's behaviors and values. Now, we can also objectively measure over 80 business-related capacities as well through an incredible instrument call the Attribute Index.

The theory behind the Attribute Index is that it basically examines how we think. It helps us to understand the patterns we use to make judgments about anything. In turn, this allows us to translate these measurements into quantitative scores which can then be more easily understood, compared, and applied to the daily world. These processes determine how and why we act as we do.

The Attribute Index looks at the three dimensions of thought that we use when whenever we think; the first is the richest dimension of thought - intrinsic (people) - this is the dimension of uniqueness, singularity as well as the dimension of people, love and feelings, etc.

The second dimension of thought - extrinsic (tasks) - is the dimension of abstracting properties, comparing things to each other. This is the dimension of comparisons, relative and practical thinking. It includes the elements of the real, material world, comparisons of good, better and best and seeing things as they compare with other things in their class.

The third dimension of thought - systemic (systems) - is the dimension of formal concepts. Ideas of how things should be. This dimension is the one of definitions or ideals, goals, structured thinking, policies, procedures, rules, laws, oughts and shoulds. It is one of perfection.

The key is that by being able to scientifically measure the degree to which an individual can apply all three dimensions, and the proportional relationship between them, we can understand how a person perceives themselves and the world around them. This understanding translates into the ability to quantify a person's aptitude in the various capacities that are measured.

A few random examples of some of the 80 odd capacities that are measured include; Role Awareness, Attitudes Towards Others, Attention to Detail, Practical Thinking, Problem Solving, Results Orientation, Persistence, Meeting Standards, Sense of Mission and Personal Drive.

Some recent client applications include both selecting outstanding new hires and developing the performance of current management. By combining specific lower scoring capacities with an audio and workbook, I've seen some impressive results.

Acknowledgement: Jay Niblick and his dedicated colleagues at Innermetrix, Inc. for their extensive research and field testing of many of the high performance concepts contained in this article. That I can even write about this subject at all is directly attributable to Jay and Innermetrix, and I thank them for their permission to extensively quote from their research.

Stephen Garber, who lives and works in the Sarasota area, provides executive coaching for individuals and organizations to enable them to select, retain and develop performance champions. Questions and comments are always welcome at [email protected].

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